Labels are used for a wide range of applications to easily identify the item without opening it or checking the content. While small businesses may write on their labels manually, larger companies are printing information on the labels using stored data. While there are different types of materials used for labels, most organizations prefer to use sticker type labels since they are easily customized and applied to cardboard boxes, packaging, and other material. Depending on the type of material and printer used, businesses can choose the sticker label type they want to be based on their requirement and budget. Some of the considerations while choosing a sticker label are discussed below.
Direct thermal labels
These labels are printed on printers without a thermal transfer ribbon. The labels have a layer that is heat-activated so that a black image is formed when heat is applied to the label using the printer head. Since no ribbon is required in the printer, it is easier to set up the printer, and the cost of printing these labels is also less. However, these labels will usually fade over time, or become black when exposed to harsh sunlight. Hence these labels are suitable for applications where the printed information should remain visible for a short period of time.
Thermal transfer label
For a larger number of applications, especially for the packaging of appliances, equipment, the buyer will require the product information many months or years later. Hence the printed information on the label should not fade. For these applications, thermal transfer labels are used which are more durable, and used for printing variable information, like the serial number of the product which is being sold. The printer which is used for these labels has a thermal transfer ribbon and these labels will last longer compared to inkjet labels. Due to their better quality and durability, the cost of each label is higher.
Resolution and print speed
One of the main factors which should be considered while selecting a printer for the sticker label is the printer resolution which is specified in dpi. Typically the printer resolution varies between 150-300 dpi, the higher the resolution, the better the image quality. However, users should be aware that the printing speed is inversely proportional to the printer resolution. Typically a printer of resolution 300 dpi will be only able to print 5 inches per second, while lower resolution printers can print faster at 6 inches per second or more.
The label should be selected after considering the information which should be printed on it. The labels are available in different sizes, and thermal printers are designed according to the widely used label sizes. Some of the popular models of printers are designed for printing labels having a maximum width of 4.25″, though it is possible to print smaller sticker labels on the same printer. The printers have a spool where the blank sticker roll is loaded for printing. The maximum print length for each roll is defined, and after the label roll is used, a new label roll should be loaded on the printer.